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moloch71
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lah ?

Postby moloch71 » Tue, 08 Mar 2005 8:52 am

Can somebody please explain what this word 'lah' means ? :?

I've been seeing it lots of places, and in various contexts - is it a localised version of 'lol' ?

Here is an example:
Bafana wrote:As usual waiting for a taxi this morning and I got banjaxed by three Aunties lah - Now they are stealing taxis in groups. They even looked and laughed at me since they had gone across the side street closer to oncoming taxis and to a taxi driver have right of way to one before me lah...


I don't imagine google will help me on this ! At least I have figured out this one:
ang moh - white person, Caucasian (from ang moh kau meaning "red haired monkey", Hokkien) :p

Cheers. :)

Lah

Postby Lah » Tue, 08 Mar 2005 6:17 pm

According to the Coxford Dictionary, Lah means:-

LAH
The ubiquitous Singlish tag. Used like a fullstop in a sentence.
1. "It was just like that, lah."
2. "He was running, lah."
3. "Donno, lah."
See also: Leh Lor Meh


It has no meaning really.

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moloch71
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Postby moloch71 » Tue, 08 Mar 2005 6:48 pm

So it's generally superfluous then ?

I guess it is similiar to Aussie Queenslanders finishing sentenance with 'hey' then :lol:

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Postby jt3 » Wed, 09 Mar 2005 2:16 am

actually I am surprised that that's all the Coxford dictionary says.

Lah actually does have "meaning". It is an expression used to tone down the intensity of a statement. Often times, people can misjudge a sentence to contain some animosity or hostility but by inputting the "lah" on the end, it diffuses the intensity of the sentence somewhat and packages it in a more harmless manner.

For example, if you're angry, you won't say "stop doing that lah!" - you would just say "stop doing that!!", but if you wanted to cajole the person into stopping without offending them, you would say "stop doing that lah!" And of course the tonal inclinations with a "lah" sentence would change accordingly.

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moloch71
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Postby moloch71 » Wed, 09 Mar 2005 8:51 am

In that case, its more of a vocal equivalent when you are using messenger/chat and you type "stop doing that :P " .......

I know I have a tendacy to use emoticons at the end to alot of my sentances to try and convey the tone I am delivering them in :)

Lah

Postby Lah » Wed, 09 Mar 2005 3:42 pm

jt3 wrote:actually I am surprised that that's all the Coxford dictionary says.

Lah actually does have "meaning". It is an expression used to tone down the intensity of a statement. Often times, people can misjudge a sentence to contain some animosity or hostility but by inputting the "lah" on the end, it diffuses the intensity of the sentence somewhat and packages it in a more harmless manner.

For example, if you're angry, you won't say "stop doing that lah!" - you would just say "stop doing that!!", but if you wanted to cajole the person into stopping without offending them, you would say "stop doing that lah!" And of course the tonal inclinations with a "lah" sentence would change accordingly.


Not entirely true. I did think that the lah tag might be an expressive word in that it tones down the mood of what is being said. But think about it, someone saying "Stop being like that lah!!!" can be expressing it in a pretty foul/ annoyed/ irritated way. Hence, it would appear that the Coxford Dictionary is correct. It is utterly meaningless.

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Postby jpatokal » Wed, 09 Mar 2005 10:48 pm

Lah has many meanings, but can you learn them out of a dictionary? No lah! So stick around for a while, keep your ears open and you'll absorb the art of correct lah-ing soon enough.


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